To see and be seen: how to comport yourself--and market yourself--at business socials.

Author:Taylor, Denise Anne

Business socials are not strictly meant for business. They're also about relationship building. Each person is an ambassador of the organization they represent. Those who can connect with others, those who can build rapport quickly and those who can gain the trust and respect of their clients, co-workers and friends will attract greater career achievement and increased sales and revenues.

The amount of money lost and number of careers ruined due to inappropriate business behavior at a company function or business social is immeasurable. Companies comment that employees will huddle together at a social function or even worse make a run for the bar or food, without any thought given to their true purpose for attending--solidifying current business relationships and creating new ones.

Shyness is not an option. If you have nothing to contribute, stay home

Believe it or not, you are not invited to a business social because you are hungry! You were invited because the host or hostess believes you have something to contribute to the event. Power people who know the ins and outs of successful networking are not juggling a plate of food in one hand and a drink in the other. Power people eat beforehand, have an agenda, work the room and accomplish their goals for meeting new people and reinforcing existing connections.

Shyness is not an option. However, if you truly feel you have nothing to contribute, stay home. No one likes to be around an individual with a negative disposition.

Here are some additional guidelines to give you the competitive advantage when working a room:

Entering the room: Pause just inside the door. Look around the room. This is called "See and Be Seen." Be sure to spot key individuals you need to connect with and notice that everyone watches the door and they...

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